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Greek Accommodation Body Says Tourism Law Still Needs Fine-tuning

Under a new law covering thematic and special interest tourism passed in Greek parliament earlier this month, the Greek Tourist Accommodation Federation (FEDE) announced this week changes affecting its members, calling at the same time on officials to address pending issues.

The new law foresees that the competent body for the issue of the optional classification certificate for rented furnished rooms or apartments is from now on the regional tourism service.

The classification of accommodation (rooms or apartments) enterprises is approved by the government’s One-Stop Shop (OSS) services, or through the General Commercial Registry (GEMI).

Both actions were until now carried out by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

The alterations, FEDE said, are a result of repeated negotiations with ministry officials in efforts to spare its members of the increased cost of HCH procedures.

The new tourism law also foresees a series of fines for FEDE members’ failure to list their properties in the tourism ministry’s business registry, which the federation disagrees with as well as in cases when FEDE professionals fail within 30 days to inform local tourism authorities of one-stop shop actions.

FEDE continues in its statement that the new law fails to penalize “bad” property owners leasing short-term for tourism purposes noting that “restrictions and penalties concern entrepreneurs in tourist accommodation, while those private individuals violating accommodation laws are hardly addressed by any supervisory authority”.

In the meantime, the federation also mentions the following “pending” issues: payment of employees at small tourist units be carried out via the so-called “ergosimo” – labor ticket in the form of a paycheck; the “equal treatment” of all tourist accommodation facilities in terms of ENFIA property taxation; updating the guidelines covering the tourist accommodation industry; and protecting tourist accommodation from “excessive and unrestricted” copyright requirements.

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